Florida League of Cities

Development of Current or Former Agricultural Land (Watch)

SB 1210 (Albritton) and HB 909 (Payne) provide that the application of pesticides as part of agricultural operations is presumed to be lawful. The bills authorize the subdivision of pesticide mixing areas on agricultural lands for environmental evaluation and remediation. The bills exempt agricultural land that meets site assessment and remedial activity requirements from further regulation by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The bills authorize property owners to voluntarily apply for brownfield site rehabilitation activities. The bills require certain assurances and notices to be provided to DEP before such properties are redeveloped and prohibit DEP from requiring specified management activities. The bills provide the DEP Secretary has exclusive jurisdiction for certain evaluations and assessments and further specify that such authority may not be delegated to a county, a municipality or other unit of local government through a local pollution control program. (O'Hara)